One of the things I keep track off in covid-times is what is happening to births. Though it was initially suggested couples might use their extra lockdown-time to produce babies, it has become clear that in the Western world the opposite is true and that they reduce births by 10-20%.
How about Victoria, which is the state in Australia with the longest and strictest lockdowns? Well, I just downloaded the monthly birth statistics from the Victorian government. Those statistics tell about the number of birth registered by month, which thus allows for things like home birth that were only registered weeks later. The advantage of the series is that it is consistent over time (lockdowns or no lockdowns, all births have to be registered).
The data tells a clear story. There is a lot of variation by month, like the outlier in October 2019, suggesting some months are popular registration months. The key thing I wanted to know when looking this up is whether births dropped 8 months after lockdowns. Well, in the first four months of 2021, there were 22,010 births whilst in the first four months of 2020 there were 25,769. That is a drop of 17%, which is a big number and completely in line with what is found elsewhere in the West, but not strongly statistically significant. Victoria did see some out-migration, but only in the order of 1-2%, so not enough for the birth drop. Those first four months of 2021 contained babies conceived from around April-August 2020, so the lockdown period. It will be interesting to see whether there is a rebound later in 2021.